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Famed Bradwell coach Jackson dies

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POSTED: June 27, 2014 11:43 a.m.
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Former Bradwell Institute coach Hokey Jackson, right, has a few laughs with former Liberty County School System Superintendent and longtime Bradwell supporter Ed Edwards during Edwards’ birthday party two years ago. Jackson passed away this week.

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Former Bradwell Institute football coach Hokey Jackson, who led the program to its only state championship, has passed away.
Jackson’s stellar Bradwell career spanned 13 seasons, including the Class B state-title-winning season in 1965, in which the then-Lions went 14-0 with a 13-9 win over Manchester North Georgia in the championship game at the old Olvey Field. His tenure included an overall record of 96-36-6 and four region titles.
“His impact on our generation, here in Hinesville, is as much a part of our daily life as the air we breathe,” former Bradwell player Clay Sikes said.
He played for Jackson from 1963-65 and helped the Lions to three region wins and the state championship. He said Jackson taught the players to believe in themselves and convinced the team they were capable of winning the state title.
Jackson was special on and off the football field, he added.
“His greatest gift was inspiration, taking average players and turning them into champions,” Sikes said, adding that Jackson helped guide him in the right direction after football. “He seemed to come along in life at just the right time to lift us out of the pit that can sometimes occur. I loved him like a daddy, as God used him to teach me more lessons than I can count.”
Tiger Touchdown Club President Craig Stafford said his father, Hal, also played for Jackson. “My dad and Hokey were the very best of friends … he played for Hokey in 1958, 1959 and 1960 … The Bradwell football family is very saddened to hear of coach Jackson’s passing,” Craig Stafford said. “He means everything to Bradwell football. We would like to extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Doranne.”
Former Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown recalled the glory days as a Lion under Jackson’s leadership, saying the coach led with an iron grip.
“He was tough … he made us do grass drills and just all the old-school stuff … he was a tough guy and a tough coach,” Brown said.
But Jackson was loved by all the players, Brown said.
“I played college football as well, but he was the greatest football coach I ever had. He is a legend but he was also a friend to all of us and he was like a dad to all of us,” Brown said, adding Jackson was shrewd as well. “One thing that also stood out to me … he was able to put together a punt-return team where we would form a wall, and it was so simple but nobody seemed to be able to stop it. He was an innovative coach.”
Funeral arrangements were pending at press time. More information on Jackson, including his obituary and an in-depth story about his legacy, will appear in an upcoming Courier.


 

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